Did you know that our library has Teen Advisory Groups? They meet on a regular basis all over the city. They come together and earn service learning credits by writing blog posts and creating displays and giving us direct feedback on our databases, and finding ways to help the library create interesting, engaging programs for teens.
But you guys, here’s the thing – many of these teens are just flat-out AMAZING people. They are gifted, driven, engaged, brilliant people, and I’m just going to take a moment to tell you some more about them.
We could mention Greta, who writes lovely, beautifully written blog posts AND double volunteers for us and the Ballard teen advisory group.
Or Aldo, a graduating senior who has been with us since he was a freshman. We love his contributions to our group discussions—he’s not afraid to address difficult issues.
Aidan was also with us all four years of high school, and even though he now attends college at Sewanee, he attends our meetings when he’s home on breaks! Aidan also loves debates and controversy.
Or Ray, who is always willing to help out at an event and always brings a fresh perspective to our meetings.
Or Loren, who says such amazing things about books and films that you want to read and see them all yourself. And he isn’t embarrassed to gush about the books he loved as a kid, and how much they meant to him—and still mean.
Or Rebecca, who asks super thoughtful questions during podcasts and although she has her own point of view, is open to other perspectives and ideas.
Or Andrew, who is crazy about music and has interesting things to say about how that has influenced his life.
And then there’s Maddie, who is an extremely poised, smart, & talented gal. She reads Shakespeare for fun, without being snooty about it. She writes really funny blog posts. Oh, and she won a 2014 Edward R Murrow Award for her writing in a recent RadioActive piece: Lifelong Smoker Goes Into Extra Innings In His Fight Against “Mr. C.” Honestly we think we’d be better off if Maddie were just in charge of everything.
We also have Teen Volunteers who come in faithfully to do a lot of the work packing up materials for the Friends of the Library and putting stickers on books and counting out pencils in sets of 30 and cleaning off bookcovers and a whole wealth of necessary, repetitive tasks.
Our star volunteer at central is named Miffy. Miffy has been with us just over 2 years and in that time has put in hundreds of hours of service. She is not only amazingly efficient, creating her own assembly lines to get more done in an hour than ought to be physically possible, but she also has a fantastic sense of humor, wears fabulous outfits, works a second job in addition to school and speaks Chinese.
And our two newest volunteers: Miryam, who is cheerful and eager to help with any task and is working on English as her 4th (yes, 4th) language, and Beeza, who is incredibly welcoming when he works at our programs.
We, as a library system, are so, so, grateful for all of this service. These partnerships represent hours and hours of helpful hands and thoughtful work. And we just want to say thank you, and if you are graduating and moving on, well, we can’t wait to see how you change the world next.